AHA Instructor Blog
CPR Instructor Renewal Requirements
The AHA sets the same CPR Instructor requirements for BLS and HeartSaver instructors when it comes time to renew.
Every 2 years, an instructor’s certification will expire and must be renewed. In order to renew, the instructor must have completed the following things.
- Teach 4 classes within 2 years.
- Be monitored teaching a class by an AHA Training Center Faculty.
- Perform the skills of CPR for Adult and Infant.
- Pass the written exam with 84% or higher.
Note that only the instructor’s primary training center can perform the renewal process.
If you are interested in aligning with our AHA Training Center, you can learn more and contact us here.
So what do instructor candidates learn during the CPR Instructor course?
Online Instructor Essentials
During the Online Instructor Essentials course, candidates are familiarized with their instructor manuals.
The instructor manual contains information such as proper equipment, course setup, how to remediate students, lesson plans, and more.
Classroom Hands-on Session
During the in-person portion of the CPR instructor course, candidates will review more of their instructor manual and put some of it into action. They will learn about the structure of the AHA, the core competencies expected of each instructor, how to fill out and submit paperwork, and be given opportunities to practice testing and remediating students on their CPR skills.
One thing that cannon be overemphasized is that candidates do not learn how to do CPR. A candidate should not only hold a CPR provider card, but also be proficient in their skills and knowledge of CPR before coming to the CPR Instructor course.
If it’s been a year or two since taking a provider course, candidates should study before coming to class to refresh themselves. Lack of proficiency in the skills and knowledge of current CPR guidelines can result in failing the instructor class.
Not all AHA Training Centers are equal.
Like any organization, not all training centers are equal. The truth is, there are good and bad training centers out there. Good training centers deliver quality and timely support to instructors.
What to look when choosing an AHA Training Center to align with.
When choosing a training center or deciding whether to transfer to a training center, look for the following:
#1 Response Time.
An instructor can call and email a training center over and over without getting a response. This effects the instructor’s ability to do their job by holding up the process and getting certifications to students. Make sure you choose a training center that responds in a timely manner.
#2 Issuing of Certifications.
Training centers are required to give certifications to instructors within 10 days of receiving a roster. However, the rule is not always reality, and some training centers can take several weeks before sending cards out or may fail to ever issue certifications.
Every training center operates differently. Some training centers may require you to mail in rosters and testing materials. Consider how these systems may affect the students you are teaching by delaying the time it takes to get certifications in the hands of students.
Look for training centers that use an online system to receive rosters and payment electronically. Furthermore, be sure to ask how long it takes for certifications to be sent after a roster is submitted.
You can contact us about aligning with our training center. For more information about becoming a CPR Instructor, you can visit Prime Medical Training or search the AHA’s national database for CPR Instructor classes.
What are the differences?
The AHA offers two different CPR classes that target different professions or types of responders.
HeartSaver is a family of classes that include CPR/AED, First Aid, and Bloodborne Pathogens.
The AHA HeartSaver courses are formatted for individuals working in a non-healthcare field who may be required to have a certification for their job.
BLS stands for Basic Life Support which covers CPR/AED with advanced techniques for team rescuers.
AHA BLS is targeted towards licensed healthcare professionals and healthcare students who are required by their state licensing board or employer to have a CPR certification.
BLS Instructors are given the highest training of a CPR Instructor. As a BLS Instructor, an individual can teach all classes which include:
Before going through CPR Instructor training, individuals will need to have a CPR provider card in the discipline they want to teach. For example, someone who wants to take BLS Instructor Course will need to be certified as a BLS Provider.
Someone who wants to be a HeartSaver Instructor must be certified as a HeartSaver CPR/AED and First Aid provider. These certifications must still be valid at the time of taking an instructor class. Expired certification cards can not be accepted.
A Red Cross certification or other non-AHA certifications are not accepted when becoming an AHA CPR Instructor. Please be sure your certification card is an authentic AHA card bearing the AHA seal and verifiable QR code.
There are instructors that will use the AHA curriculum and test but then make up their own certification cards. These are not recognized and cannot be accepted. If you have questions about your certification please give us a call!
Training Center Approval
Every AHA Instructor is required to align with an authorized AHA Training Center. Training Centers monitor and renew instructors certifications as well as provide instructors with certification cards to issue to students.
Individuals must receive approval from a training center before taking a CPR Instructor Course. Individuals can find local training centers by searching the AHA’s website, and subsequently submitting an Instructor Candidate Application form to the training center of their choice.
Individuals who sign up for Prime Medical Training’s CPR Instructor course are automatically approved to align with our training center.
Course Completion Requirements
After completing the prerequisites, the next step is to take the AHA Online Instructor Essentials course.
There is a separate course for BLS and HeartSaver candidates. This may be included in the cost of the instructor course, or students may need to purchase it on their own.
Candidates must have a copy of the appropriate Instructor Manual as the online course asks very specific questions referencing charts and material that can only be found in the instructor manual.
After completing the online course, a certificate will be issued that instructors need to bring with them on the first day of their instructor course.
If the training center does not provide it in the cost of the course, the Instructor Essentials course, Instructor Manual, and other AHA Instructor Materials can be purchased by one of AHA’s 2 distributors.
The next step is to attend the CPR Instructor Course. The official agenda takes at least 5-7 hours. Training Centers may choose to add additional content to the agenda which in turn increases the class time.
At the end of class, candidates will be required to take a 25-question written exam which covers what they learned during the online and in-person portions of their course. An 84% or higher is required to pass.
Instructor Candidates will need to teach a class while being monitored by their instructor or another AHA Training Center Faculty member within 6 months of taking the CPR instructor course.
It’s recommended to schedule monitoring as soon as possible so candidates have skills fresh in their mind.
During the monitoring, candidates are graded using the AHA Instructor Monitor Tool form. After successful completion, candidates are issued a CPR Instructor certification within 20 days.
Why become a CPR Instructor?
There are couple reasons why it might be beneficial to have CPR Instructor training.
- Corporate: An organization that requires several employees to be CPR certified may find it more cost-effective to have an employee who can perform the training in-house.
- Individual: An individual looking for an opportunity to earn extra income may like the flexibility and independent work of being a CPR Instructor. Instructors can make on average $300 for a 4 hour class.